OPINION: Stand firm to stop spread of hatred
THE thoughts of the people of Ipswich are no doubt with the residents of Paris right now as they come to terms with a terrorist attack that has caused unimaginable heartache and pain.
I have been to Paris on several occasions and walked through the 10th and 11th arrondissements, which experienced the major brunt of the cowardly attacks by extremists.
The area is not noted for major tourist attractions, but is a place where young people in particular gather in the evenings to enjoy themselves at the many bars, cafes and establishments that make Paris such a wonderful place to live in and visit.
The concern for authorities is that these attacks were made on what are known as "soft targets". France, and other nations, do not have the resources to monitor all the bars and cafes throughout a city.
Terrorists know this and have struck in an area where they know such resources are often not deployed.
The city of Paris, and France itself, stands for the values of equality, fraternity and liberty.
Those values are not negotiable for the people of Paris.
Unscrupulous individuals will no doubt use these attacks to direct hate at those who do not deserve it.
In the months ahead it is vital that the focus is on stopping more terrorist attacks and not on spreading the very hatred that inspires those who would have us all live in fear.